Q: If you are asking about the possibility to microwave rubber, you might be an amateur scientist who wants to heat up rubber elastic bands, or a new mommy who would like to dry your baby’s rubber ducks after bath. There are also some rubber food containers in which you might like microwaving your food. So what types of rubber are safe to put in the microwave oven?
How to Microwave Rubber Elastic Bands?
If you are a student who’s got a school project to see what happens to a rubber elastic band when you heat it up in the microwave, no matter why you would need it, keep reading.
First of all, you should follow a few simple steps:
- Make sure you are allowed to use your microwave for this purpose
- Have your parents or teacher around
- Take a small sample of rubber for microwaving
- Set your microwave at medium power
- Microwave rubber for no more than 1 minute
The most obvious result of your experiment will be a piece of melted rubber and a mess on your microwave glass dish.
Also, you’ll result in getting wiser and not doing such crazy things like microwaving rubber elastic bands in the future.
Cheering news is that rubber differs and there really are some types of it that resist extreme temperatures, both low and high.
There even exist super big reusable rubber bands for multiple purposes like gardening, building, or cooking (e.g. to secure cling wrap on a bowl), or any other sphere where small bands just can’t do their job. Believe it or not, they are labeled as freezer and microwave safe ones. Yippee!
Unfortunately, this is not about bath ducks (they will simply catch fire at a certain point.)
Can I Microwave Rubber Food Containers?
If you mean silicone rubber (rubber-like) containers for food, then the answer is yes.
This type of containers is labeled as microwave safe and can be used in the microwave oven to warm up food.
They resist some extremely low temperatures (down to -55 degrees Celsius) as well as unimaginable heat indices (+300 degrees.)
So if you decided to cook or heat something in a silicone rubber container which is marked as heat-resistant, don’t get scared by placing it in the microwave and switch on.
What Rubber Things Should I Never Put in My Microwave?
We came to the conclusion that some rubbers like food containers are safe to microwave while others are just inappropriate.
Here’s just a few not to microwave things made from rubber to keep in mind:
- Surgical gloves, pads, birth control devices
- Chew toys for babies or pets
- Erasers, mouse pads, headphone pads
- Flip-flops, rubber balls… whatever
Despite the fact that so many great rubber things can’t be microwaved to make life easier, there exists a so called industrial microwaving technology, which facilitates life to many engineers and inventors.
The microwave heating technology got widespread use in manufacturing rubber parts like gaskets, weather stripping, some pharmaceuticals and chemicals and so on.
Of course, the industrial microwave heating has nothing in common with the domestic microwaving like heating or cooking food. Although, they use huge microwave ovens, that often remind of the ones in your kitchen, to put big rubber blocks in it and cure or vulcanize them.
Microwave heating technology is very successful thanks to its indisputable advantages:
- Fast and efficient for materials that poorly conduct heat (like rubber)
- Rapidly heats interiors of the material
- Instant on/off option that does not require additional warm-up or cool down of the material
These are just a few pros of the industrial microwave heating which goes far beyond the limits of your kitchen.
As a reminder, be very cautious about microwaving rubber. Always check the labels or the packaging in which the rubber things go. Thus, you will avoid the risk of inflammation and a threat to your health.